As part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU), work is now underway on a major track improvement project between York and Church Fenton.
Engineers will replace the track on all four lines on the East Coast Main Line between York and Colton Junction, as well as both lines between Colton Junction and Church Fenton.
Renewal of the track in these areas will allow for the route’s line speed to be increased to 125mph, helping achieve the faster, more frequent and more reliable services promised by TRU.
Work is set to continue at the site until Christmas 2021.
The work is being carried out by the Transpennine Route Upgrade East Alliance (TRU East), involving Network Rail, VolkerRail, J. Murphy & Sons, and Siemens.
TRU East is responsible for delivering the necessary infrastructure improvements on the eastern part of the TRU route, between York and Leeds. These upgrades will deliver a high-performing, reliable railway for passengers with more trains and improved journey times.
In order to keep disruption to a minimum for passenger and freight services, the work has been carefully planned and will take place over midweek nights.
Work is set to start soon at the nearby logistics hub at Gascoigne Wood, which is due to open this month, to prefabricate each of the 60ft sections of new track.
Located just three miles from Church Fenton, the new logistics hub, which includes a 400m rail head running off the main network, will allow engineering trains easy access in and out of the facility, and onto the site of upgrade works.
James Ramsden, TRU East Alliance Project Lead on the York to Church Fenton scheme, said: “Our teams have worked tremendously hard to ensure this project could move forward into track renewals, and I am immensely proud of their efforts.
“We have worked closely with several stakeholders, to ensure minimal disruption to train and freight operating companies, and thanks to the continued input of Network Rail, have developed a strong and robust plan, which will ultimately provide passengers with a much smoother, more reliable service.”
Stephen Wright, Transpennine Route Upgrade Senior Sponsor for Network Rail, added: “We’ve made major progress between York and Church Fenton ahead of this vital part of the project to renew the track. This work is a step towards boosting reliability and bringing faster, more frequent services.
“We are continuing to work closely with the TRU East Alliance to compete this part of the upgrade as soon as possible so passengers can reap the benefits.”